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Found 22 results

  1. Seasons greetings, all! HiloDon and I are at it again with another seasonal delight for our friends here at SGL! HiloDon provided the stellar images and I created the musical landscape and produced the video. There's a little surprise near the end! Hope you enjoy! For all who observe, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Reggie
  2. My first reasonably successful attempt at capturing the Horsehead Nebula, a target I've been desperate to image since I started doing astrophotography. Previous efforts yielded nothing at all and I was resigned to thinking it could only be captured with Hydrogen alpha filters and seriously long exposures. However on my last couple of nights in Sicily I had another go and started to see some promising results. At first the subs were marred by some sort of lens flare but on the very last night I managed to get good data and reasonably good guiding so I was able to get an hour of exposure time from its appearance over the buildings until dawn. Then I quickly shot some darks and flats before packing for the airport. I did the processing on the plane. Obviously it needs a lot more exposure but I'm very encouraged by this and will return to this target frequently over the autumn/winter months. Taken in Ortigia, Siracusa in Sicily on 13th September 2015. 15 x 4 minute exposures at 800 ISO 10 x dark frames 11 x flat frames 24 x bias/offset frames Equipment Celestron NexStar 127 SLT GoTo AltAz mount with homemade wedge Orion 50mm Mini Guide Scope ZWO ASI120 MC imaging and guiding camera Canon 700D DSLR Guided with PHD Processed in Nebulosity and Photoshop
  3. I am looking for some tips on imaging the Horsehead Nebula in Orion. Whilst this is one of the brighter targets I am very aware of the issues with over exposing Altinak. In addition as Orion passes by my house it goes behind my neighbour’s house so I only have a few hours to capture data, so this will have to be a multi-night job. I am also steadily running out of days before this becomes impossible… My plan is to capture LRGB data: RGB each with 5 min exposures then the luminance at 5mins exposures, obviously the more subs the better. I will also look at capturing LRGB subs at 1 min exposure so that I can composite these into the longer 5 min exposures to help with the over exposure. Dark & Flats will also be taken. Does this some like a sensible plan? I have found LRGB to be particularly difficult when controlling star bloat. My pixel size is 3.17 ArcSeconds Per Pixel which does not help. My questions are: 1. How long is it recommended to take LRGB exposures of the Horse Head in an orange light polluted zone? I know this is an open question but if anyone has had good experience of this it would be a good start. 2. Should I reduce my Luminance exposure time or for that matter the RGB too? I could go even go for longer subs? 3. Any other tips? Many Thanks.
  4. Hello all I just had 2 sessions where I tried the horse head Nebula and also the Iris Nebula. I think the Iris needed longer exposures to get the darker detail but I'm not guiding. Let me know your thoughts. I was a little dissatisfied with Iris http://www.astrobin.com/full/274255/D/ http://www.astrobin.com/full/278508/0/ Cheers Gerry
  5. Depending on your point of view this was either a late night or an early morning stargazing trip. After a few hours of sleep my alarm woke me at 12:30am and I headed to the listed Bortle 1 skies just south of Tonopah, Nv, USA (map). When I went to bed the conditions were iffy due to a weather system that was pushing through - but when I woke up the satellite showed clear-enough conditions to warrant getting dressed and giving it a go. I arrived at my desired location and proceeded to setup the scope. The challenge of the night was going to be the temperature which was hovering around 9F (-12C)...I was dressed in sweater, jacket, ski jacket, jeans, ski pants, ear muffs, a hat that covered head and neck, ski gloves, and two hand warmers. Brrrr. Old Friends. New Observations. Missed Objects. The Milky Way was visible...but not impressive as I've seen from many other dark locations - a clear sign that transparency wasn't at its best...some of that upper level moisture must be hanging around. M31 was below the horizon but I'm sure it would have still been naked eye. The Beehive Cluster (M44) and suprisingly M67 (averted) were both visible naked eye. I didn't really go into the night with any set plan on what to observe...I wanted to ID SN2012ht, try to observe the Horsehead Nebula, maybe check on a few old friends under DARK SKIES, and not freeze to death...pretty simple. After spending some time in/around Orion I realized that my eyepiece was going to be a limiting factor as it was frosting over about every 30 minutes...requiring a defrosting back in the car. Anyway - M42/M43 looked brilliant as usual. The Flame Nebula was just about as visible as I've ever seen it. But tried as I might...the Horsehead eluded me. The jump from Alnitak to the Flame Nebula to HD37903 which is obvious with the surrounding nebulosity. And then to HD37805 which had much less nebulosity in the area. Knowing the Horsehead is w/in the FOV at 110x I started searching but the faint nebulosity that defines the area of the Horsehead wasn't visible. I'd come back numerous times tonight. Moving over to Sn2012ht the jump inside Leo was easier than expected. I found the right star field in my 110x EP FOV and quickly identified Sn2012ht shining around mag 12.x (it's listed at 12.8 and I'd buy that). Two nearby stars at mag 9.9 and 13.1 were both easily visible and the SN was a pinprick of light (like a very compact star...which sounds funny to say) a touch brighter than the 13.1 nearby star. Victory - SN #8 logged! The host galaxy was NOT visible...and with it listed at mag 15.x that's no suprise...but 'companion?' galaxy NGC 3447a (mag 13.1) was just visible. I went back to the Horsehead...was able to get faint nebulosity on and off...but never positively IDed the Horsehead Nebula. Over the next 90 minutes I spent time with some old friends: M81 - the core was strong and both spiral arms were faintly visible...the lower arm in my EP stood out a littel better than the other. M82 - shinging as a bright cigar...the dust lane just visible across the center and an unevenness along the central area...hints at more structure present. M51/NGC5159 - both galaxies showed up well and the spiral arms of M51 were visible...not the best views i've had of the arms...but they were present. The arms did not reach all the way to NGC5159. M101 - one of my best views of this large galaxy - spiral structure was faintly visible and the core stood out better than I'd ever seen it. At this point my feet ached from the cold seeping through my shoes, my EP was icing up too often, and my laptop was difficult to use with thick gloves...so I packed up and headed to the warmth of my car and hotel. I'd love to come back here when conditions allow for more comfortable viewing. It's dark! Overall - several old friends visited, one new galaxy, and one new supernova...worth some frostnip I guess. Happy hunting!
  6. From the album: Stars and Constellations

    Taken using Canon 100D on Skywatcher Star Adventurer - 55mm lens - single 4 minute exposure at ISO 800 You can clearly see M42 The Orion Nebula within "the sword", and there is a hint of The Flame Nebula and The Horsehead Nebula around the bottom left star of "the belt" Taken during a trip out to The Dales on Thursday night at a nice dark site between Kettlewell and Hawes

    © Vicky050373

  7. StarRaver

    horsehead2 nebula

    From the album: My starting out pics

    shot with an un modded canon 60d through a skywatcher ED80 pro with 0.85 focal reducer / flatner and IDAS P2 LPS filter, on a HEQ5 pro mount controlled via EQMOD on the laptop. This was 22 light frames shot at 1600 iso for 300 seconds with matching calibration files

    © Dale Dare 2014

  8. Field around the Horsehead Nebula bordering up to the edge of M42. I wanted to try to bring out some dust below the Ha region but ran out of time to deal better with the crazier stars. First time I've processed the Horsehead without any Ha data added (will have a go now I've done the LRGB only version for this competition). L 42x5min, R 16x5min, G 16x5min, B 25x5min, taken in December 2017 and January/February 2018 with a Takahashi E-130D on Avalon Linear mount with Moravian G3-16200 mono CCD. Processed in Pixinisght. Hope you enjoy! Paul
  9. Hello Again, I wanted to image the Horsehead nebula close up for a while and finally had the chance to do it, as well as process the data I captured across multiple nights. This has been imaged through the NexStar 8SE on the CGEM mount. This was imaged in the native 2032mm focal length (F10) through a Baader UV/IR Cut and Halpha 7nm filters and recorded by my modded Canon 40D DSLR. I experimented with trying to capture some UV data through the Astrodon UV filter but it was a failure on the horsehead... I talked about it in another post, but I think that stacking the UV data into the rest pulled the stars back to white from the redness caused by the HAlpha data. I used PHD 2.6.4 to Autoguide for the first time and I have to say that I like PHD 2 a lot, highly recommended... it is very good, my guiding accuracy (according to PHD2) was between 0.5" and 0.8" arc sec... I found it easy to get to grips with. Total data amount was 81 subs, 75 used in this image... HII: 29 x 15 minute ISO1600 RGB: 13 x 10 minute and 25 x 5 minute ISO800 UV: 8 x 20 minute ISO3200 So total time spent on integration was 850 minutes, but the 160 minutes spent on UV was not necessary... so really I guess its 11.5 hours of used data. Building the mini observatory was the best thing I could have done for imaging... very happy with it, continuing imaging night to night is literally a matter of minutes, so I was able to continue capturing data even if I came back home from work at midnight, only limited by clouds... Thanks for looking, comments and critique welcome as always. Clear Skies, Mariusz
  10. Yet another Horsehead (sorry). Imaged on the 20th using my ED120 and Modded 1200d with UHC-E Astronomik filter - 27 subs of 300 secs at 800 iso. Stacked with Bias and flats. Dithered so darks not added. Tried adding darks but it got noisey. Comments and suggestions welcomed as usual and thanks for looking. Peter
  11. Horsehead Nebula from Kielder Starcamp 2012 Canon 60Da with telephoto lens @ f 7 3 x 600sec @ iso 800 No Flat Frames No Dark Frames (Quick & dirty) 3 x 600 sec exposures - 2 with satellite trails (cloned out) & 1 stained blue with daylight fast approaching. Horsehead Nebula from Kielder Autumn Starcamp 2012 by mikeyscope, on Flickr
  12. MarsG76

    IC434 Nov2017

    From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    This has been imaged through the NexStar 8SE on the CGEM mount. This was imaged in the native 2032mm focal length (F10) through a Baader UV/IR Cut and Halpha 7nm filters and recorded by my modded Canon 40D DSLR. I experimented with trying to capture some UV data through the Astrodon UV filter but it was a failure on the horsehead... I talked about it in another post, but I think that stacking the UV data into the rest pulled the stars back to white from the redness caused by the HAlpha data. I used PHD 2.6.4 to Autoguide for the first time and I have to say that I like PHD 2 a lot, highly recommended... it is very good, my guiding accuracy (according to PHD2) was between 0.5" and 0.8" arc sec... I found it easy to get to grips with. Total data amount was 81 subs, 75 used in this image... HII: 29 x 15 minute ISO1600 RGB: 13 x 10 minute and 25 x 5 minute ISO800 UV: 8 x 20 minute ISO3200 So total time spent on integration was 850 minutes

    © Mariusz Goralski

  13. MarsG76

    IC434 Nov2017 Crop

    From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    This is a cropped image of the other Horsehead image which I imaged through the NexStar 8SE on the CGEM mount in the native 2032mm focal length and recorded by my modded Canon 40D DSLR. Total data amount was 75 used in this image... HII: 29 x 15 minute ISO1600 RGB: 13 x 10 minute and 25 x 5 minute ISO800 UV: 8 x 20 minute ISO3200 So total time spent on integration was 850 minutes

    © Mariusz Goralski

  14. Nadine2704

    Orion's Belt

    From the album: Astrophotography

    Taken with my iOptron Skytracker and Canon 70d with 300mm lens. Wish I'd stayed out longer as the Horsehead was just starting to show! 25 x 1 min exposures at ISO 6400.
  15. From the album: DSO, Nebula, Galaxies, Comets etc

    Reprocessed image Atik 314L and Skywatcher Equinox 80 ED H-alpha 10 x 300 seconds and 15 x 600 seconds with some dark and bias frames Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in PhotoShop CS2

    © vicky050373

  16. From the album: DSO, Nebula, Galaxies, Comets etc

    The Horsehead Nebula 02.01.2017 Atik 314L and Skywatcher Equinox 80 ED H-alpha 10 x 300 seconds and 15 x 600 seconds with some dark and bias frames Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in PhotoShop CS2

    © vicky050373

  17. From the album: DSO, Nebula, Galaxies, Comets etc

    The Orion constellation taken 14.01.16 using Canon 100D on Skywatcher Star Adventurer. A reworking of my original image using Gimp. Bringing out the detail and colours of the nebula has unfortunately also brightened the LP to the lower half of the image. You can clearly see M42 The Orion Nebula within "the sword", and there is The Flame Nebula and The Horsehead Nebula around the bottom left star of "the belt". You can also see an element of Barnard's Loop which is the red band that curves around the left hand side of the image.

    © Vicky050373

  18. This is the Ha (15x 30 mins with the Chroma 3nm) to go with the LRGB data I used here: I haven't managed to satisfactorily incorporate it yet, I think because it's a lot stronger than the RGB and it reddens the image too much (and overwhelms a lot of the brown dust which I want to preserve). Ideally I'd increase the amount of LRGB data substantially to help with this but it's too late for that now this year; guess I'll have to work on my processing skills a bit more. Will also try to rework the stars in (L)RGB to tame them somewhat. Paul
  19. From the album: DoctorD's Photos

    Horsehead nebula using 35nm Baader Ha filter and lodestar at 60s exposure
  20. Tried capturing M42 and horsehead nebula last night with my new Astro-modified EOS Rebel XT. During post processing I noticed these weird spots and lines across the image. Would you happen to know if this was because of the mirrors of the telescope (i.e. dirty mirrors) or is something wrong with the camera? What's weird is that this 2 images were taken with the same exact camera at the same exact position but some artifacts visible on M42 did not show up on the horsehead nebula. Btw I checked the mirrors of the telescope but I cant find the weird long spots
  21. On reflection trying to nail the tricky horsehead nebula visually last night might have been a tad ambitious. At the start of the night the moon was pretty high and even though it was no where near full it was surprisingly bright. Add to that how wet it was last night in the air (hair dryers at the ready chaps) and the mist that was forming in pockets on the lower ground around us, you could conclude that the conditions were not ideal. However Alan (Rustysplit) & I were determined to try....... Armed with Alan's home made 14" dob and my 16" Lightbridge, under my rural Sussex (pretty) dark skies we set up about 8pm and started on the usual targets that the moon's light doesn't really interfere with. Jupiter was pretty steady and we teased some detail in the lower and upper regions, the Pleiades gave a lovely blue glow despite the white light around it. The double cluster was (as always) truly beautiful in a wide angle eyepiece and the chain of open clusters m36, 37 & 38 were a treat to find and take in. As time ticked on impatience got the better of us and despite the moon (although it was dropping lower in the sky) we decided to try our main target/challenge for the night. Using an Orion h-beta filter on a 27mm televue panoptic eyepiece on Alan's 14" scope we found Alnitak and then edged up to the trio of stars that form a small chain below (in our reflectors) where the horsehead should be. Alan looked first, drew a breath through his teeth and declared........... "nothing"! I then had a peak and as soon as I put my eye to the eyepiece I got a flash of a dark notch in a brighter cloud. I use the word flash deliberately because that's exactly how it was. No sooner had I seen it my eye tried to focus on it and it was gone. Then no matter what I tried I couldn't see it again. Was it my imagination? I'm pretty sure it wasn't but I certainly couldn't count that as bagging it. We decided to wait some more for the moon to drop and carried on with some other targets. The dew was catching up with us now. Both secondaries went, then the eyepieces, then the primaries need the hairdryers (ironically although both Alan and I are focally challenged we still can handle a hairdryer)!! A hot cup of coffee and a mince pie later and the moon was really dropping, we decided to try again. This time we both felt there was the faintest of outline, a dark notch, but the problem with the horsehead is you try and focus on what you are seeing and then it goes. I found by coming away from the eyepiece and staring off into the distance then flicking my eye back to the glass seemed to pop it out for a split second but blink and it was gone. More coffee (and more mince pies) and the night ticked on. 12am now and the moon was pretty much gone behind the horizon. You could see the sky darken, the clouds of the milky way began to show and all of a sudden andromeda, the double cluster and the beehive cluster became naked eye targets. My lightbridge looked like it had been through a car wash both outside and on the mirrors, one scope down, would we see the elusive horsey before the wet night claimed it's second? Stool in position, eyepiece and filter ready, we tried one final time.................and there is was! To say it's faint is a massive understatement. It's not like the veil that you can look directly at and take in but the nebulosity surrounding it does have a veil like quality. A billowing rippling effect with the top edge of the horses head more defined than the snout but you could pretty much make out the distinctive shape now. Certainly an arch top to the dark notch. I discovered the best way to look at it was to sit the head in the lower third of the eyepiece and then look over it to the top of the field of view. This gave you an averted vision (i.e. the bottom part of your eye was picking up the horsehead whilst your main vision was looking at the black space above it) but in a much more relaxed way. You would need a good quality bit of glass to do this as the edge needs to be sharp but, in Alan's panoptic this was ideal and the technic really drew out the detail. Alan found this worked for him too. The stool helped as well. It let you relax and take in this most amazing sight. We tried without the h-beta filter and with a UHC filter but there was nothing to our eyes with either method. The h-beta filter is the magic bullet. In conclusion a great night and fantastic that we can tick this one off the observing list. We both want to revisit it after the next full moon as I'm sure with a darker, completely moonless sky it will be even better but for now a tamed horse resides in our observing stable.
  22. I don't seem to get to do many imaging projects for myself these days. This year in particular seems to have been particularly lacking in clear dark nights, I don't know if you would agree? Complicating matters further in my locale has been a huge and long lasting A45 bypass, three years and still not quite finished. The site has been working 24/7, and they put perimeter lights all around the temporary site office complex. At the same time my kind neighbour (who knows what I do for a hobby and for pocket money) decided to install the brightest floodlight I have ever seen, and leave it on all night every night, shining at 90° over my garden.... At any rate, I found some subs that I captured in March of this year using a Skywatcher Esprit 150ED, and Atik 11000 camera. I don't actually remember capturing the data to be honest, so it was a nice surprise to find it on my HDD. Possibly the most photographed DSO in the sky, the iconic Horsehead nebula is instantly recognisable. For this picture I have combined a little bit of RGB colour data with the bulk of the data gathered with a Hydrogen alpha filter. Recently @ollypenrice posted a lovely picture of the same area, and somebody made a Facebook comment about letting the stars shine out. Which got me to thinking, rather than try an minimise the effects of Alnitak, the huge, hot, blue star on the mid left, I'd just let it do it's thing, dominating the picture, as it dominates in the eyepiece. Although the flame nebula and rear of the Horsehead are the brightest emission nebulae in the vicinity, the whole area is awash with thick clouds of gas and dust. This image represents the way I imagine the area would look if we could get in a bit closer. The image represents around 15 hours of Ha data, and 45 mins or so of Red, Green and Blue. Thirty minute Ha exposures. I've included the Ha image alone, and also a cropped approximation of the actual eyepiece views you may experience in dark skies, with a 16 inch telescope, using a Hydrogen beta filter. I saw this for the first time in the autumn and had of those astro moments that stays with you for a long time. A Hb filter is definitely on my shopping list once I get my dob mirror sorted. Thanks for looking. Tim
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